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Scientists Trying to Understand No-Name Fault That Caused Largest Ridgecrest Earthquake

By Jan Wesner Childs

At a Glance

  • The July 5 earthquake was the biggest to hit Southern California in 20 years.

  • Scientists didn't know the fault the existed before the quake.

  • Researchers have installed 25 seismic sensors to study aftershocks in the region.

Scientists had no idea the fault that caused a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Ridgcrest, California, existed until the area was rocked by the quake on July 5.

Almost immediately, research began to understand the unnamed fault and help local officials prepare for the next big seismic event, according to a press release from the University of California Riverside.

"It's not a matter of 'whether' there will be another large quake in California," Abhijit Ghosh, a geophysics professor at UC Riverside, said in the release. "It's an inevitability."

A series of quakes and aftershocks jolted the Ridgecrest area in July. The July 5 temblor was the largest to hit Southern California in 20 years. A smaller quake on July 4 happened on different faults, according to the press release.

Ghosh and a team of researchers set out on July 6 to install a series of 25 seismometers in the ground to measure the thousands of aftershocks.... Read more

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